Say hello to yesterday’s breakfast — Korean-inspired fried eggs with tamarind and quinoa cauliflower “rice.” Easy, tasty and packed with hidden veggies thanks to the genius of grated cauliflower folded into freshly steamed quinoa for that comfort food on a spoon! The sweet and sour tamarind sauce is sure to make your tastebuds water — I use it throughout my book East by West to add the all-important sour taste to dishes from chutneys to jams, to dipping sauce and stews — I’ve also used it in for my tamarind, courgette and parsnip curry on cauliflower rice page 133 and in my South Indian Moong Sambhar on page 183. You can even find it as a refreshing drink here. In Asian cuisine (including my mum’s Filippina cooking) it’s used like lemon — that’s how sour the fruit is. Most commonly sold as a paste in a jar it’s likely to need need a little jaggery to sweeten it depending on the brand you buy, so be sure to have a little taste first and check the ingredients on the back. This recipe makes plenty of extra sauce so if you’re serving 4 just double the rest of the ingredients. If I’d planned this recipe I might have topped this dish with spring onions and coriander, but since this recipe was literally a “rustle-up” from my fridge after I felt a hankering for a really filling breakfast, I made do with what I could find including chives and fresh mint from my garden, which shows just how versatile recipes can be as long as you get the flavour balance right! I’ll be sharing a post all about the 6 Tastes of Ayurveda very soon, so watch this space!



Serves 2

½ cup white/pearl quinoa (soaked for 8 hours, rinsed and drained)
½ a medium/large cauliflower, grated
Large handful baby spinach, washed and drained
2-4 eggs
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Ghee or coconut oil, for cooking

For the tamarind sauce

5 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tsp arrowroot/tapioca or cornflour to thicken plus 2 tsp water (optional)
2 tbsp light soy sauce or tamari
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp jaggery or more (depending on sweetness of tamarind paste)
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

To garnish

1-2 spring onions, sliced, or small handful of chives, snipped
Chilli flakes or finely diced red pepper (for colour)
Fresh mint or fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Soak the quinoa in double the water overnight (or for at least 8 hours).

  2. Rinse and drain the quinoa. Bring to the boil with ½ cup of fresh water and a pinch of salt, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until the quinoa is tender, adding more water if needs be. Turn off the heat, and gently fold in the spinach until wilted.

  3. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and set aside. Use the same saucepan to prepare the sauce: add the flour and water and stir to make a paste. Add the tamarind and soy sauce/tamari and combine. Bring to a low simmer, stirring continuously until slightly thickened.  Add the jaggery to taste and set aside.

  4. In a large frying pan, melt 2 tablespoons of ghee on medium-high heat. Add the grated cauliflower and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add the quinoa and season with salt and pepper. Distribute between 2 warmed plates.

  5. Wipe clean the frying pan, and heat 2 more tablespoons of ghee on a medium-high heat. Break in the eggs and season lightly with salt. Allow to crisp up on the bottom for a few minutes, reduce the heat and the cover with a lid for a minute or two or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

  6. Divide the eggs between the plates, on top of the quinoa cauli “rice.” Drizzle over the tamarind sauce, scatter with the spring onions/chives, chilli/red pepper and mint/coriander and serve immediately.

East by West tip: Save the extra sauce to drizzle over kitchari or mung dal for a sweet and sour kick instead of chutney.

If you enjoy the flavour of tamarind in this dish, try my tamarind, courgette and parsnip curry on cauliflower “rice” page 133 of East by West and in my South Indian Moong Sambhar on page 183.